January 16, 2013

Pitt Adds a DT from Hawaii

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:55 am

Frankly, I’m glad he’s committed just for this photo.

Photo copyright Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama visited Kailua High School to recognize the school for its programs on compassion, conflict resolution, and nonviolence. Naturally a kid who causes havoc as DT on the football team got to be on stage with him. My day is made.

Jerimiah Taleni is probably 6-2, 315 pounds (though puts him at 6-1, 340). He’s unranked by all recruiting sites except, which gives him 2-stars.

He had offers from Washington St., UMass and Nevada. I’m going to guess he is is something of a project. He’s the 25th overall recruit and counts as the 21st for the 2013 class.

Is this our first recruit from Hawaii… ever?

Comment by Benzene 01.16.13 @ 8:28 am

Now all we need is a picture with the pope!

Comment by oklahomeboy 01.16.13 @ 8:46 am

Along with Adams first New Zealand kid. Figure, why the hell not. 630lbs of commit yesterday from philly to Hawaii.

Comment by Beantown-Sean 01.16.13 @ 8:50 am

I assume that while visiting Oakland, these 2 new commits were brought to the O for the large fries and to Primantis for the sandwiches. Is Quaker State still on Forbes?

Comment by wbb 01.16.13 @ 8:58 am

correction .. Quaker ‘Steak’

Comment by wbb 01.16.13 @ 9:00 am

I hope they didn’t take them to Quaker Steak n’ Lube, bad wings, decent sauce, overpriced. Maybe fuel and fuddle for halfsies, I know Adams loves that place.

Comment by Benzene 01.16.13 @ 9:03 am

Haha, awesome. He’s my favorite Pitt freshman already.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.13 @ 9:12 am

Only questions, how is Pitt going to feed these guys and will they all fit onto one plane.

Good recruiting.

Comment by Frank MD 01.16.13 @ 9:15 am

A lot of the $2 million they saved from Fraud Graham is going towards the food budget.

This Taleni could have potential. Looks like he only played one year of varsity and made 2nd team all state. He’s also young – was 16 yrs old at the start of the season and was already squatting 545. Give this man a red shirt and an all-you can eat pass to Eat N Park and we just might have the next Haloti Ngata on our hands. Except he’ll be playing for the good guys.

link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.13 @ 9:29 am

Sometimes this staff really does some stupid things. There’s no reason to go all the way to Hawaii for a player that nobody else wants. Even Hawaii didn’t want him. This kid will end up leaving early, mark my words. Pitt could have found a similar player within 100 miles of Pittsburgh probably.

Comment by Mike 01.16.13 @ 9:31 am

Agree with the comment above. What are the odds that all of the schools west of the Rockies missed this guy? Possible but not likely.

If you are taking a chance on a player why not take a chance on a kid
from PA?

Comment by JR 01.16.13 @ 9:40 am

Forget selling beer at Heinz Field (or the new Pitt Stadium). What we need is a prozac dispenser.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.13 @ 9:44 am

@ Mike, quit making comments that make you look like a jerk.
Watch the video feed posted above and tell me that Pitt couldn’t use a kid like him on the interior of the D line. I was impressed with his lateral movement and his nose for the ball. Of course this is a “highlights” video and we don’t know the quality of the opposition but still another big man for the line.

BTW, was the Dalai Lama giving that ceral spoon as a gift to Jerimiah? LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 9:44 am

Way to put the kid down already. Some say PC finds diamonds in the ruff and others say he is swinging and missing. PA isn’t churning out football players like is used to.

Comment by Pittastic 01.16.13 @ 9:45 am

You guys have to believe. This guy can do the Haka. That’s the pacific-islander warrior dance. Ain’t nobody in 100 miles of Pittsburgh that can do that.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.13 @ 9:46 am

This class that Chryst is putting together is hitting all our needs, I’m liking it. HTP

Comment by Bones 01.16.13 @ 9:51 am

I watched some of the highlight film. He seemed pretty aggressive and somewhat athletic for a big guy. Hopefully he turns out to be a good player and sticks around. A lot of these types of guys rely on a huge motor and will to win to be successful. Let’s hope he has that type of desire and work ethic. I do see the other side being brought up about finding a similar “project” type of recruit locally that could possibly provide some inroads for the future. Let’s face it, we are never going to recruit Hawaii nor should we as there is not a ton of talent there. Regardless though, I hope this kid does well and sticks it out. I’m not going to criticize what the staff is doing because they sure know a whole lot more than I do.

Comment by JJ 01.16.13 @ 9:53 am

as Chas puts it, this kid is something of a project. Unless he is taking the place of potential 3 or 4 star commits, maybe he’s worth taking a shot at.

The other possibility is that the new DC will prefer the 3-4 which would make sense because of the depleted DL. In a 3-4, it’s good to have a space-eater at nose tackle.

Comment by wbb 01.16.13 @ 9:55 am

Theres lots of pacific-islanders in the NFL and they all seem to be solid players. The few the steelers have had were all tough players that were solid at their positions. Glad to see some thinking out of the box.

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.16.13 @ 10:02 am

Like Bill Murray in Caddyshack, he has the Dalai Lama going for him. Who was the lucky guy that got to go on that recruiting trip? Awesome!

Comment by gc 01.16.13 @ 10:08 am

I like where you are coming from JJ.

Here are some numbers for those who are interested. I posted these on another blog, but I like you guys enough to re-post here:

ESPN shows that Taleni has a SPARQ rating of 75.84

Justin Moody: 74.73

If you’re going to bellyache about Taleni you’ve got to bellyache about Moody as well. Those are the rules. Sorry.

“SPARQ is a rating system designed to measure sport-specific athleticism. The results from these tests are combined and weighted using a formula specific to football.” – link to

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.13 @ 10:14 am

Dammit. I was all psyched to make a Caddyshack joke, but gc beat me to the punch.

Comment by Jeff 01.16.13 @ 10:23 am

I love all the armchair coaches on this site who constantly criticize the coaching staff based on a bunch of their own unsubstantiated assumptions about recruits and what they will or won’t do. They aren’t stupid – they know they upsides and downsides of recruiting a guy like this from so far away. If they didn’t see something there that maybe other schools have missed, then I don’t think they’d take the risk. You certainly can’t say they haven’t recruited close to home based on the class coming in. Maybe the guy will turn out to be a bust, but they must see some real potential in him that’s worth taking a chance on. If nothing else, he’s a big freakin’ dude, and this staff is clearly going for size on both lines. I like that. We should be gigantic up-front in a couple of years.

Comment by SteveD 01.16.13 @ 11:00 am

The kid tested out at 5.68 sec in the forty yard dash. Not bad for a 300+ lineman. Now I don’t know if they were pulling a Bar-B-Q pork thigh on a rope in front of him for motivation during the drill but he obviously can move around quick enough apparently.

BTW, to those dissing on him as an unwanted by other programs, he had offers from Nevada, Washington State and U of Mass. besides us.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 11:05 am

We have to believe in the coaches
ability to evaluate talent.

Comment by JR 01.16.13 @ 11:57 am

Chip Kelly to the Eagles

Comment by wbb 01.16.13 @ 12:08 pm

wbb, where did you see that?

Comment by Big Bill 01.16.13 @ 12:13 pm

ESPN is reporting Chip Kelly to Eagles.

Comment by Why me 01.16.13 @ 12:14 pm

“why don’t we ever recruit out of our area???”

Pitt signs lineman from Hawaii.

“why would Pitt go all the way there for a guy?”


Comment by Dan 01.16.13 @ 12:19 pm

Sam Werner at the PG is reporting that with the two latest recruits, Pitt has 25 first offers (including the 4 early-ins) for 2013 .. that should leave them 4 more ships – but he says they’re already at 83 scholarships for next year and there’s a question whether Tom Savage is included in that number .. if correct, Pitt has 1 or at the more 2 more spots available ..

Comment by Hoopzebra 01.16.13 @ 12:21 pm

I watched his highlight reel and I think this kid has real potential. He has a good burst and gets off blocks well to attack the ball carrier. Seems to have a good nose for the ball

Comment by Dan35 01.16.13 @ 12:27 pm

Taleni highlight reel:

link to

Comment by Dan35 01.16.13 @ 12:31 pm

If we need our nose guy to run someone down in the 40, bring on Carlow!
I like the signing and not just because anyone with any football sense knows we could never find a genuine Hawaiian within 250 miles of Pittsburgh let alone 100 miles.
We are leaving the Big East and we need size!
Good signing.

Comment by sfpitt 01.16.13 @ 12:33 pm

@ Dan, couldn’t have made the same point better if I had tried. No pleasing some people?

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 1:13 pm

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.13 @ 1:18 pm

Forget Prozac. We need a Lithium dispenser at the stadium.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.13 @ 1:18 pm

Good article below. We complain SEC outspends everyone when it comes to Football. Study proves it.

“The study finds the largest gap by far in the Southeastern Conference, which combines relatively low academic spending and explosive coaching salaries. Median athletic spending there totaled nearly $164,000 per athlete in 2010. That is more than 12 times the $13,390 that SEC schools spent per student for academic expenses, including instructional costs and student services.”

Read more: link to

Comment by Why me 01.16.13 @ 1:20 pm

I don’t care if we get players from as far away as Hawaii, New Zeland, or Timbuktu, for that matter. As long as theyy can play, I’m all for it. One thing I tell you about the recruits Chryst is bringing in, they’re not under-sized! I think he gone a long way towards easing depth issues on the offensive and defensive lines.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.13 @ 2:01 pm

I see good tackling technique with this kid….wraps up well with his arms. If anything I would keep him out of the local restaurants and get him to lose 10 pounds.

Is see he was playing in a 4-3.

Comment by Jackagain 01.16.13 @ 2:03 pm

At one time BC was really getting good linemen and when they went into the ACC they pounded other ACC teams. I think they have fallen off a bit and that has hurt them. Chryst looks to be headed toward pounding teams.

Comment by Frank MD 01.16.13 @ 2:20 pm

I too agree that it does not matter where Pitt gets its scholarship athletes as long as they stay out of trouble which is a big problem in NCAA Division I football and basketball. Let’s give Jerimiah a Pittsburgh welcome.

Comment by MariettaMike 01.16.13 @ 2:33 pm

link to

The Big East needs to go to the nearest clinic to get swabbed. The last 10 yrs of raping have not been kind.

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 01.16.13 @ 2:36 pm

Watched the highlights. Nice forward push. Not as quick as Donald looked in HS, but bigger if not stronger. Stays on his feet. Great stuff, hope he has a sense of humor.

Hang ten baby!

Comment by gc 01.16.13 @ 2:44 pm

Why me, another case of you get what you pay for.

Comment by gc 01.16.13 @ 2:46 pm

Oh, I’m the jerk because UMass stopped recruiting him and Hawaii didn’t even offer him. Yeah, I’m the jerk. Maybe you are just pathetic. No wonder why Pitt never improves. Too many dumb fans who applaud over the silliest things. The program has no reason to get better because the fans are too dumb to question the moves they make. Yay, a fat guy that nobody wants but he’s from Hawaii and he met the Dalai Lama. Big fucking deal.

Comment by Mike 01.16.13 @ 2:53 pm

Taleni was just rated *** by espn for those that don’t care but do.

Comment by Beantown-Sean 01.16.13 @ 2:54 pm

From the AP WIre: Pitt is hosting 1-Star DB recruit Marvin the Martian from West Red Planet HS. No local schools recruited Marvin due to his penchant for attempts at blowing up the earth. Instead of using his death-ray, Marvin instead says he will limit his ‘Earth-shattering KABOOMS’ to smashing the opposition at Heinz Field.

I agree with the poster above, I could care less where he’s from. As long as he can play ball.

Comment by pghFred 01.16.13 @ 2:56 pm

lol thats a great picture.

why is “mike” posting here right now? really, calm your shit and dont get a big d**k.

he is a nose tackle… literally all he needs to do is take up space and not be pushed backwards. I read that he was squatting 545 at 16 years old. at 340lbs with a low center of gravity and that lower body strength.. there is no reason why he cant be a quality nose down the road.. besides, he wont have to play for a few years because nose is the deepest position on the dl

Comment by pk 01.16.13 @ 3:45 pm

Mike–sorry you are such a pessimist. Yeah, maybe this kid will turn out to be a flop and prove you right. On the other hand, the kid has size that you cannot teach and pretty darn good testing measurables (see ESPN). They are pretty much identical to that of Moody and Jones-Smith. So, whether he will pan out or flop will depend on his attitude, weight room work and how coachable he proves to be. There is no inherent reason from a physical standpoint why he cannot turn out better than his current “zero to 2tar-ratings”.

IMHO, Massachusetts most likely stopped recruiting him because they knew they were no longer in the game once he had Nevada and Pitt offers and possibly even a Washington State offer(Two sites claim a Washington State offer; and two do not.)

Comment by pitt1972 01.16.13 @ 3:47 pm

Face it, the recruiting season leading up to LOI and beyond is like spring training in baseball … hope springs eternal (unless you’re a Pirates fan).

And then in a year or 3 you have … TJ Clemmings, Mark Myers, Shayne Hale, Dante Taylor, Cecil Epsy, Trey Zeigler, and even Tom Savage (for Rutgers), etc

but on the other hand … Antonio Bryant, Dion Lewis, Jaron Brown, Gary McGhee, Gus Mustakas, Mick Williams, Scott McKillop, Chas Alexcih, etc

Comment by wbb 01.16.13 @ 3:50 pm

Mike, I don’t know if you are, or you’re not, but you’re posts sound like and come off as though you are a teenager.

“that’s why Pitt never improves, too many dumb fans” Shakesperian!!!

You obviously don’t read the Pitt Blather that often, because most on here get criticized, including myself, for being too hard on the Pitt football, and Pitt basketball programs.

As for the staffs moves, I can’t say, lots to be seen, however, I think I’ll give them a small leg up on who they want, as opposed to marking your words.

Comment by Dan 01.16.13 @ 3:56 pm

I hope Alabama doesn’t find out the this Marvin guy before signing day. :-)

Comment by Jackagain† 01.16.13 @ 3:57 pm

Fans are too dumb to question the moves they make???????????

If we lose to Villanova tonight, I’d suggest popping on and perusing all of the comments on here or a new post, after the game is over.

You’ll see all the questioning you’d like.

Comment by Dan 01.16.13 @ 4:01 pm

i will say this about the taleni commitment-i think pitt could have done better. i dont say that because i dont think well of taleni, but pitt could have used another 3 tech dt. Donald is the only true 3 tech on the team or in the 2013 recruiting class so darryl render really needs to take a step forward to provide productive relief minutes for ad

Comment by pk 01.16.13 @ 4:04 pm

Someone did some questioning.

Breaking news, story of the year, Notre Dame’s Manti T’eo, and winning one for his girlfriend after here death.

Apparently, no girlfriend died, apparently, there was no girl friend.

If this comes to be true, this dude needs to get to Mayview or one her sister hospitals somewhere.

If it’s true, very disturbing. Very disturbing.

Comment by Dan 01.16.13 @ 4:53 pm

Actually Mike I simply suggested that you stop posting “comments” that make you look like a jerk. However you seem intent on refining the image with additional posts.

You’re entitled to your opinion, Just be aware that per your request, that I have “marked your words”. Let’s see what Taleni is up to in a couple, three years and then we’ll see if you’re clairvoyant or not.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 5:00 pm

@ Dan – Deadspin has an extensive article on it, well documented, so it looks like it was an elaborate hoax .. the fact that the story started about the time Notre Dame started their Heisman campaign for him is purely coincidental [cynicism and sarcasm intended]

Comment by Hoopzebra 01.16.13 @ 5:11 pm

Guess we can chalk this up with Rudy and The Gipper as another Notre Dame myth.

Comment by Hoopzebra 01.16.13 @ 5:13 pm

First Alabama exposes the hoax that ND was National Championship material and now this???? Not too much luck of the Irish for the Irish as of late. I feel so bad for them.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.13 @ 5:34 pm

the plan for recruiting is to start in hawaii and work our way back east!! who knows, this kid may work out and pitt is spreading their brand a long way. I say why not.

Comment by goalie44 01.16.13 @ 5:49 pm

the kid is a big d line men we need big line men stop bitching
if you take a chance it should be on a line men
so shut up and go get a beer.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.16.13 @ 5:58 pm

It doesn’t necessarily matter if Telani turns out to be a player himself. Pitt is making an effort to recruit the west coast, Hawaii is included. It’s something new, and as I recall Mike, the definition of stupid is continuiing to do the same thing and expect different results. So from your perspective, you should be happy. And if that doesn’t do it for you, everyone knows Hawaiians are good for the locker room. Adds a special dimension when the Dire Straits are on the stereo.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 01.16.13 @ 6:01 pm

If this kid is only 16 or just turned 17 he hasn’t even finished maturing physically yet.
Maybe his credentials are average for an 18 year old but boy they are something for a 16 year old.
I hope he stays for the long haul, doesn’t get homesick. He just may end up being the pick of the litter.

Comment by frankarms 01.16.13 @ 6:15 pm

Te’o & ND announce it he was the victim of a “cruel hoax”

Comment by tedsptman 01.16.13 @ 6:17 pm

Mike I’m on your side, this was a move led by inoke to sign his FIRST recruit. It’s a tell tail sign that hawaii didn’t offer and neither did any MWC or PAC 12. I read WSU backed off him.

Seems like a stretch. I see transfer in a few years. Hawaii to Oakland does not seem like a match for a kid that won’t see the field for a couple years.
It may work out but I think some could bring down there optimism in this one.

Comment by KRF 01.16.13 @ 6:50 pm

Who’s in charge of recruiting mainland China?

Dude should be FIRED. Hasn’t signed a one!!!!

Comment by pghFred 01.16.13 @ 6:54 pm

PITT will spend to much of there budget if they recruit west and don’t see much gain for the risk. Need to go south and maybe Texas since there r so many kids.

Comment by KRF 01.16.13 @ 6:54 pm

frankarms. i just saw that now! technically he might now even stop maturing by the time hes out of college! the fact that he is what he is at 16 tells me he has a bright future if he matures the way he should

Comment by pk 01.16.13 @ 9:46 pm

Jerry Diapola reported that Taleni could have played at Hawaii but wanted to play on the east coast. This is not a fake thing unlike another somoan that I know. I don’t understand why people are being crabby or overly joyed on this kid. A 3 star espn recruit with serious size and muscle forget where he is from. He’s an average recruit with potential just like most of our recruiting class which is in the top 30 in 2 of the 4 main recruiting sites. Plus an out dated 38th in espn and a outdated 32nd in rivals.

Comment by Beantown-Sean 01.17.13 @ 12:17 am

Dan’s comment above summed it up best!… LMAO as well. Beantown shows we are right up there nationally with the class and this is Chryst’s first really.

I like the Taleni … beeecause… the coaching staff likes him!

We’re getting some big boys up front and as has been said many times in many places… Chryst’s MO is finding talent and developing it.

Comment by PittScript 01.17.13 @ 3:42 am

pitts class is in the top 25 on scout and 247 as well

Comment by pk 01.17.13 @ 7:03 am

Just give me one more linebacker and one more running back committment and I will be very satisfied with the job Chryst has done in this recruiting class. He’s already silenced the crys about the dire lack of depth situation on the OL with this class.

There are two other RBs on the Pitt radar besides JoJo Kemp who has gotten most of the recent attention on recruiting blogs. They are Jacquille Veil from Rockville, MD and Nick Roberts from Brunswick, OH. Veil is rated by ESPN, Roberts is kind of under the recruiting radar rating services. Both are fast. Roberts tested out at 4.41 sec in the 40 and Veil at 4.49 sec. Veil actually has his official Pitt visit scheduled for tomorrow. Lets hope.

Jerry DiPaola from the Trib reported that there is another LB recruit that Pitt is considering, Zack Parker, that they might extend an offer to if he shows a true interest in the Panthers. Looks like his biggest asset is his smarts. The kid carries a 4.0 grade average and is intent on pursuing an engineering degree. Pitt’s engineering program is pretty good from what I hear, so maybe that’s the LB that I’m wishing for.

There also is another DT that is still undecided that hasn’t taken a visit to Pitt yet who is from Detroit, MI, Kenton Gibbs, he’s got an offer from Pitt but is keeping his decision private until LOI signing day, maybe still undecided. He has an official visit scheduled for 1/25, big guy at 280 lbs. Hopefully we can reel him in too. Another big boy for the line, just the kind that Chryst likes.

LOI signing day could provide a few surprises if any of these guys decide that they want to wear a Panther uniform. We’ll see soon enough.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.13 @ 11:02 am

Well said Dr.Tom

I like that the recruiting is across the country. Chryst landed Gabe Roberts from Wisconsin and Ryan Lewis from the state of Washington late last year.
I also like the recruiting of the Detroit area.

Comment by notrocketscience 01.17.13 @ 11:15 am

I’d like to see the new coach that Chryst is going to hire come from the Southeast with ties to the ACC footprint in recruiting. This area will of course start to open up for the Panthers once we begin playing in the ACC. The exposure will occur naturally and if we finally kick the habit of $hitting the bed in most of our important games we can then make an immediate impact in recruiting the SE, especially Florida. Wouldn’t it be a recruiting coupe if we could knock off both Miami and Florida State at home this coming season. Come on,,,,,I can dream can’t I?????

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.13 @ 11:21 am

You can dream. I don’t think beating Miami is a stretch. A DC with those ties would jump start that southern recruiting.
I really think people under estimate how much the coaching issues have hurt this team talent wise. Unfortunately, most of the players from this coming class aren’t going to have an impact for at least two years.

Comment by notrocketscience 01.17.13 @ 1:13 pm

I love that we got a Samoan on our team. They are charismatic and well known for playing tough football. I don’t care where kids come from. Play hard for Pitt.

Comment by Caw Miller 01.17.13 @ 1:25 pm

Dr Shannon, I believe Randy Shannon, former HC at Miami who also was DC there during its championship seasons, is still available. He certainly has Florida ties but not aware of any connection with Chryst

Comment by wbb 01.17.13 @ 2:47 pm

dr tom, pitt is no longer recruiting jacquille veii. they were recruiting him as a corner and they cancelled his visit saying that they had 27 commits and werent taking any more db’s. the rumor is that josh jones is a silent verbal. he visited pitt and just cancelled his official to msu this week.

Comment by pk 01.17.13 @ 5:45 pm

also, they like zach poker as a tight end

Comment by pk 01.17.13 @ 5:45 pm

Thanks for the updates pk.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.13 @ 8:00 pm

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